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App Development
6 minutes read

Soft Skills: Software Developer Must-haves

by Robert Kazmi
App Development
6 minutes read

Soft skills are an important part of being an app developer. Although most people think of this as an exclusively technical profession, having time management and communication skills, among others, can make all the difference between being a great developer and an extraordinary one.

Technical skills are an important part of software development. However, there is more to building software than just knowing your way around the code. As an app development company, we value that our developers have strong technical skills, but also soft ones. This last can make the difference between a successful app development project and a chaotic one. Every developer, as well as any company that wants to build an application, should understand this.

If you want to move your career forward or want to build an app for your company, make sure to go beyond traditional development hard skills. To achieve this, the willingness to learn soft skills is very important. If you run a company interested in building software, it is important that you give soft skills the importance they deserve.

In this post, we discuss what soft skills are, why they matter to software developers, and how to use them to succeed at software development.

What are Soft Skills?

Soft skills refer to non-technical skills, and they are often seen as complementary to hard skills, also known as technical skills. For the case of software development, soft skills refer to the necessary skills that are not directly related to building software. In other words, it refers to skills such as empathy, critical thinking, problem-solving, time management, and communication skills.

It is a common misconception, particularly among software developers, that hard skills are what matter the most. It is true that technical skills are essential to building an app, but this is only half of the story. After all, building an app requires technical expertise.

Software development is a complex activity, and as such, it requires people who are able to work collaboratively and, most importantly, in a smart way. This is where soft skills play an important role.

The Importance of Soft Skills

One of the most important reasons why soft skills matter is because they help guarantee the success of any software project. When building software, many things can go wrong. More often than not, potential risks occur on the side of the developers. Unlike the systems they build, software developers are subject to emotions, and these can determine the success or failure of any software project.

On the one hand, from a company’s point of view, it is important that a software developer is able to go beyond technical requirements. This helps guarantee that different team members get along, that communication flows effectively, and as a result, that a client will be happy with the project and its end result.

On the other hand, from a software developer’s point of view, soft skills are a great way to make sure that a project meets its expectations, reducing the need to reprocess, and most importantly, it helps keep team members in tune with the overall project’s goal.

Problem-Solving with Soft Skills: An Example

Consider the following example. A group of software developers is building an app for a client. At some point, differences start to arise between the client and the project manager, making it hard to find the correct way to move forward. 

The project manager, having strong soft skills, decides to find a way in which the different team members can reach a solution that makes everyone happy. After intense discussions, they finally decide on the best solution.

This sounds like something simple, but in reality, things can take a very different path. Many things can go wrong when soft skills are not considered. The project manager could have easily decided the solution based on what he considered to be the best alternative, but this might have made the client mad. By making use of his soft skills, the project manager was able to keep emotions under control and achieve the goal.

Ultimately, soft skills are something not every development team thinks about. Nonetheless, soft skills have the potential to bring team members together to achieve amazing results.

Top 5 Soft Skills for Software Developers

To any software developer, there are many important soft skills to consider. These are 5 of the most important soft skills:

  • Empathy
  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Patience
  • Humbleness

These are not the only soft skills that every developer should have. However, by keeping them in mind, you will help guarantee a minimum standard to make your project more productive. Other soft skills to keep in mind include problem-solving, time management, critical thinking, work ethic, and conflict resolution.

Empathy

As a software developer, empathy is an important soft skill to perceive how others feel in order to connect with them and find solutions to challenges that may arise. Being empathic can be a great soft skill to build teams, but also to strengthen relationships with clients.

Effective Communication

Effective communication skills in English tend to be underrated when it comes to building software. However, poor communication skills in English are one of the most common causes why software projects fail. Invest time in teaching your team to communicate better in English and ensure outstanding results. After all, English is the international business language.

Teamwork

Building team dynamics is a key soft skill to ensure flexibility and efficacy at the moment of developing software. The better team members understand one another, the better results they will achieve. Making sure team members share the same values is also very important. At Koombea, for example, we strive for respect and discipline, innovation, and a healthy work culture.

Patience

Building world-class software takes time. Sometimes teams are required to iterate many times until a solution works. Patience is a soft skill that is hard to find in our fast-paced world. However, it is very rewarding as it helps embrace the fact that not everything can be achieved at once.

Humbleness

It often happens that developers with strong hard skills tend to feel overconfident. This can be problematic as it leads to frictions between team members. Being humble helps keep egos at a distance while embracing a beginner’s mind.

Soft Skills: Software Developers that Excel

Being technically proficient is great, but the best developers in the world understand that this isn’t enough. That is why strengthening soft skills is important. This applies to mobile apps as well as for web app development.

No matter the software project your company needs, making sure that your development team has the right soft skills is very important. Contact an app development company that invests in its development team so that they have the necessary soft skills.

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